ana titer question
I was wondering if my titer of 1:320 is high or low, and what is "better" to have - high or low?
From what my rhemy said, every person's "range" is different, and what that means as per symptoms is different... but the higher the number, the more active the Lupus is in you... So while you having a 1:40 might be asymptomatic, and a 1:320 might be symptomatic and possibly signaling a flare up; another person might have a lower or higher baseline and flare up signal number.
Some doctors do routine ana's to keep track (like a basal temperature chart when you're trying to get pregnant)... the rise in ana would signal a flare up (as with the rise in temperature when you are ovulating). this way the docs can premedicate, and try to avert a big flare.
Does this make sense?
I posted this as a reply to Ivarma and I am posting it here also. I hope it answers your question!
To perform the ANA (antinuclear antibody) test, sometimes called FANA (fluorescent antinuclear antibody test), a blood sample is drawn from the patient and sent to the lab for testing. Serum from the patient's blood specimen is added to microscope slides which have commerically prepared cells on the slide surface. If the patient's serum contains antinuclear antibodies (ANA), they bind to the cells (specifically the nuclei of the cells) on the slide.
A second antibody, commercially tagged with a fluorescent dye, is added to the mix of patient's serum and commercially prepared cells on the slide. The second (fluorescent) antibody attaches to the serum antibodies and cells which have bound together. When viewed under an ultraviolet microscope, antinuclear antibodies appear as fluorescent cells:
* If fluorescent cells are observed, the ANA (antinuclear antibody) test is considered positive.
* If fluorescent cells are not observed, the ANA (antinuclear antibody) test is considered negative.
A titer is determined by repeating the positive test with serial dilutions until the test yields a negative result. The last dilution which yields a positive result (flourescence) is the titer which gets reported. For example, if a titer performed for a positive ANA test is:
An ANA report has three parts: 1) positive or negative 2) if positive, a titer is determined and reported 3) the pattern of flourescence is reported
ANA titers and patterns can vary between laboratory testing sites, perhaps because of variation in methodology used. These are the commonly recognized patterns:
* Homogeneous - total nuclear fluorescence due to antibody directed against nucleoprotein. Common in SLE (lupus).
* Peripheral - fluorescence occurs at edges of nucleus in a shaggy appearance. Anti-DNA antibodies cause this pattern. Also common in SLE (lupus).
* Speckled - results from antibody directed against different nuclear antigens.
* Nucleolar - results from antibody directed against a specific RNA configuration of the nucleolus or antibody specific for proteins necessary for maturation of nucleolar RNA. Seen in patients with systemic sclerosis.
ANAs are found in patients who have various autoimmune diseases, including Lupus, but not only autoimmune diseases. ANAs can be found also in patients with infections, cancer, lung diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, hormonal diseases, blood diseases, skin diseases, and in elderly people or people with a family history of rheumatic disease. ANAs are actually found in about 5% of the normal population.
The ANA results are just one factor in diagnosing, and must be considered together with the patient's clinical symptoms and other diagnostic tests. Medical history also plays a role because some prescription drugs can cause "drug-induced ANAs".
Peace and Blessings
had an appointment w/ my rheumie today.
This was our initial meeting and he discussed my ANA of 1:160
He said that an ANA of that # was more of the lines of scleraderma or Sjogren's than Lupus..
Anyone here that before? or anyone w/ Lupus having an ANA of 1:160?
I'm reallly becoming more and more confused with the testing and what I'm reading. :?: :?: :?:
I'm not sure how he came to that conclusion based solely upon your ANA titer. ANA 1:160 indicates a positive ANA. Positive ANAs are found in patients who have various autoimmune diseases, but not only autoimmune diseases. ANAs can be found also in patients with infections, cancer, lung diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, hormonal diseases, blood diseases, skin diseases, and in elderly people or people with a family history of rheumatic disease. ANAs are actually found in about 5% of the normal population.
The ANA results are just one factor in diagnosing, and must be considered together with your clinical symptoms and other diagnostic tests. Did he say what other clinical symptoms and tests led him to thing that you had Sjorgen's? There had to have been more than just the ANA for him to make this assumption. If he did not tell you this, perhaps you should ask him.
Also, many patients with Lupus also have overlapping diseases and Sjorgen's is one of the other auto-immune disorders that can occur with Lupus.
Peace and Blessings
my original symptom that sent me to the PCP was a burning on the bottom of my foot (neuropathy) The PCP looked through my med history (sun rashes, joint pain, kidney bladder infections) and sent me to have blood work done. The ANA came back high positive. From there he said I should see the rheumatologist. The rheumie asked my family history and it seems my mom had Reynaud's syndrome (white finger tips) and some other issues. While he said that these syndromes aren't hereditary, they are influenced by our genes, and that there is a strong possibilty that I have Sjogren's... but he did not discount Lupus. I had several more blood tests taken yesterday and await those results.
while I realize I am very lucky to have been able to see a rheumatologist (thanks to an associate's frienship w/ him) on such quick notice, the waiting is crazy-making!!
Yes, the waiting can be frustrating and excrutiating. You are lucky to have a rheumatologist who seems to understand auto-immune disorders. So, I guess it is just a matter of waiting for the final diagnosis and starting treatment.
Thanx for letting me know that much more was done than just the ANA test
Peace and Blessings